U.S. Capital

Will Immigration Reform Remain a Toxic Topic for a Decade or More?

Jan 23, 2015

Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 23, 2015 – Immigration reform is still on every politician’s lips, and it may remain there for many years to come.

“Yes, the President took executive action to protect a small segment of illegal immigrants. Yes, those immigrants are poised to take advantage of the action. No, this is not a permanent fix for the immigration system. But it may be a step forward in the right direction, provided everyone can determine, collectively, what the right direction is or needs to be to accomplish reform,” remarked Larry Rifkin, a Miami immigration lawyer and managing partner at Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, P.A.

Immigration reform has been a moving target for politicians for years. President Obama’s executive action will protect approximately five million illegal immigrants from deportation and allow them work authorization in United States, but this step does not fix the system as it stands. In fact, it may even make it more difficult to correct later down the road.

According to Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., Obama’s executive action will “make the issue absolutely toxic for a decade.” It may be a valid observation. However, politicians have avoided fighting over firm, strong views on immigration reform for years, well before Obama’s action. It has always been a contentious issue, and it is likely to remain a contentious issue. The very nature of the problem, ensuring fairness and equality for all, presents an enormous, ethically loaded conundrum.

Behind the scenes, Democrats and Republicans fight battles that ensure a great divide on immigration reform, but they rarely address it directly. Instead, the two parties incorporate the issue into one-upmanship games, trying to score political points for their party and gain more control in Congress. There is much at stake in resolving the issue, but few are focusing on the immigrants stranded in limbo.

Republicans do not want to agree to anything Obama wants to achieve, as they are loathe to grant the president a powerful public “win.” Democrats are focused on criticizing and waiting on the Republicans. The goal to fix the system has been lost in the rhetoric.

“No, immigration reform won’t remain toxic for ten years,” said Rifkin. “But it may remain toxic for as long as the current system is in place.”

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